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Franco Harris: One of the most overrated players in NFL history

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by ScoutingSteelers, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. ScoutingSteelers

    ScoutingSteelers Member

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    Jun 26, 2019
    The only reason I say “one of” is Wes Welker also exists.

    As anyone with an IQ over 80 understands, in order to be a good NFL running back, you need to be able to do more than just follow blocking, get the yards where you are untouched, and then go down to the first guy who touches you. You need to be able to break tackles, elude someone, or both. It also helps to have breakaway speed. You need to bring something else to the table besides following blocks, because there are literally over 1,000 RBs out there, both in the NFL and various other leagues (including college football) who can do that.

    If you don’t bring anything else to the table, you are not a good running back. Period.

    A perfect example of a guy who fits that description is Franco Harris. Franco Harris was a 230 pound sponge. Want proof? Well, you’re about to get it.

    I went through every 1972-1979 Harris game (except for a select few - I’ll get to this in a minute) that was uploaded to Youtube and charted all of his touches, counting up the number of broken tackles/jukes/5 yards after contact plays to tally his total number of “broken tackles,” as per FootballOutsiders rules (https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2015/broken-tackles-2014-offenses). I was extremely liberal in how I assigned them, so there could be little argument that I was being too stringent in crediting Harris in comparison to how FootballOutsiders charters credited modern running backs.

    Since I knew that some people would complain about the sample being biased as a result of the number of playoff games posted on Youtube (and therefore often stronger defenses, making this more difficult competition for Harris than the current backs faced in the regular season), I left out all of his playoff games, except for those where he had good box scores in terms of yards per carry. So his Vikings SB “MVP” performance is charted, as well as one of his playoff games vs. the Colts (who had a poor run defense).

    And since it was others who determined which games I used (the YT uploaders), you can’t accuse me of doctoring the sample to only include games where Harris performed poorly in this regard. I also limited it to only games from what most would consider Harris’s prime (1972-1979).

    Behold: In this large sample of prime Harris touches, Franco Harris’s broken tackles per touch percentage is absolutely horrible. In 362 touches, he had just 26 broken tackles (per FootballOutsiders classification). This comes to a broken tackles per touch percentage of 7.18.

    Compare this to the FootballOutsiders broken tackles charts from the last 3 years:

    2016:

    https://web.archive.org/web/2017080...outsiders.com:80/2017/rotopass-broken-tackles

    2017:

    https://web.archive.org/web/2018010...outsiders.com:80/2017/rotopass-broken-tackles

    2018:

    https://web.archive.org/web/2019042...alloutsiders.com/2017/rotopass-broken-tackles

    For 2016, you have to keep scrolling until you get to Rashad Jennings (who was out of football after his 2016 season after averaging 3.3 yards per carry) to get a worse figure. For 2017, you have to scroll until you get to Danny Woodhead. This was also his last year in the NFL. And for 2018, you have to scroll down to Alfred Blue, who averaged 3.3 yards per carry last year and is now on the Jaguars.

    Let me remind you: Franco Harris is in the Hall of Fame, and not a single running back from this era who is considered remotely good had a worse broken tackle percentage than him.

    Harris was also an absolutely abysmal blocker, both run and pass (I feel bad for Rocky Bleier, who did such a good job of lead blocking for Harris while getting the exact opposite in return), and nearly all of his receptions were simple passes to the flat. His straight line speed? Good for his size for that era, but he had only 5 career regular season touchdowns of 40+ yards, and only 11 of 20+, despite playing forever.

    We’re talking about a man who played for all that time and said that he doesn’t have any pain from his playing days, and who, when asked about accusations of being soft, said he was “into the art of running, not the art of running into people.” If a quote like that came from Deion Sanders, people would remark on what an egomaniac he was.

    Terry Bradshaw, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann = great. Blocking (roids + blocking scheme) = great. Franco Harris? Horrid.

    Here’s the charted data:



    *Indicates broken tackle

    +Indicates juke



    1976 @ Cincinnati



    25 Touches. 24 rushes, 1 catch (Tape missing 2 rushes).



    Rush 1 3:14: Tackled for loss by #53.

    *Rush 2: Breaks tackle of Leclair, gain of 4.

    Rush 3: Tackled after 3 yard gain off RG.

    Rush 4: Tripped in backfield by Brown, #78.

    Rush 5: Stuffed by #70.

    Rush 6: Tackled on 3rd down inside run, gain of about 5. 4th down.

    Rush 7: Tackled by #67 on outside run. Gain of 4.

    Rush 8: Brought down at line of scrimmage by #50.

    Rush 9: Off tackle, ankle tackle by #50. Gain of about 7.

    Rush 10: Harris outside, tackled by #67. Gain of about 5.

    Rush 11: Tackled for no gain. Fumble. Bengals recover.

    Rush 12: Tackled for no gain by #79.

    Rush 13: Inside. Bumps into own linemen. Gain of a few.

    Rush 14: Stuffed by #78.

    Rush 15: Tackled by #50. Gain of 7..

    Reception 1: Caught in flat. Knocked out of bounds. Gain of 5. Short of 1st.

    Rush 16: Stuffed by #70.

    *Rush 17: 4 yard Touchdown. DB dives at legs and whiffs when Harris is basically already at goal line, but I’ll give him a broken tackle here.

    Rush 18: Wrapped up at line of scrimmage by #67.

    Rush 19: Wrapped up after a few by #24.

    Rush 20: Tackled by #50 after gain of 1.

    Rush 21: Harris tackled by #67/#50. Gain of 3.

    Rush 22: Short 1st down rush over guard/pile.

    Rush 23: Wrapped up by #67, gain of 2 or 3.

    Rush 24: Legs cut by #50. Gain of a couple.



    1974 season (1975) Super Bowl vs. Minnesota





    34 touches. 34 rushes. “MVP.”



    Rush 1: Slips in backfield. Touched down by #60.

    Rush 2: Up middle for about 5. Alan Page the tackle.

    (Would’ve been rush 3: Tripped up in backfield on outside run by #23. Personal foul).

    Rush 3: Draw play. 4 hole. About 2 yard gain.

    Rush 4: Inside run. Tackled by #50. Gain of 2 or so.

    Rush 5: Outside run off pulling LG. Untouched until tackle by #70. 15 yard gain.

    Rush 6: Inside rush. Stopped for no gain.

    *Rush 7: Spun off tackler, gain of a couple.

    Rush 8: Outside rush for 7-8. Runs out of bounds.

    Rush 9: Brought down for 3 yard gain by #60.

    Rush 10: Off tackle falls forward for about 2.

    Rush 11: Harris’s shirt grabbed and he’s dragged down by #58. Gain of about 3.

    Rush 12: Runs untouched outside, big run, runs straight out of bounds. 25 yard gain.

    *Rush 13: Runs through big hole up the middle, cuts outside. Paul Krause (who was a worse tackler than Deion Sanders) bumps into him and doesn’t even try to tackle him. Then runs out of bounds. I’m going to be generous and count this, but it’s a stretch to call it a broken tackle when a cowardly safety didn’t even try to wrap him up.

    Rush 14: Dragged down in backfield for loss by #58.

    Rush 15: Left outside, runs untouched into the endzone.

    Rush 16: Through big hole untouched. Fumbles after hit. Steelers recover.

    Rush 17: Inside rush. Tackled low, stretches forward. 3 yard gain.

    Rush 18: Inside for a few and a 1st down. Dragged down by first guy to touch him.

    Rush 19: Through big hole on left side. #50 the tackle.

    Rush 20: Up middle. Gain of a yard or two.

    Rush 21: Up middle. Gain of 2-3. #58 the tackle.

    *Rush 22: Outside and cuts in. Edge lineman gets cut blocked by lead and spun around; momentum seems to be part of what causes him to miss Harris, so I’m not sure whether or not Football Outsiders would count this. I’ll count it anyway.

    Rush 23: Harris heads towards big hole and fumbles. Vikings recover.

    Rush 24: Through big hole. Tackled by #50.

    Rush 25: Tries to bounce outside, tackled at or behind line of scrimmage.

    Rush 26: #50 stuffs Harris for loss.

    Rush 27: Runs for about 8 yards through hole created by cut blocks.

    Rush 28: Inside for a few. Tackled by #81.

    Rush 29: Defender trips him. Gain of about 1.

    Rush 30: Runs behind offensive line surge for a few for 1st down.

    Rush 31: Left outside run. Stopped at the line of scrimmage.

    Rush 32: Runs into own offensive lineman before brought down. Gain of a couple.

    Rush 33: Brought down from behind after gain of a yard.

    Rush 34: 16 yard gain off right tackle untouched until tackle.



    1979 vs. Browns.



    41 touches. 32 rushes, 9 catches.



    Rush 1: Off right guard for about 4. #59 on the tackle.

    Rush 2: Runs through wide open hole off left guard for several.

    Rush 3: Right outside run. Corner trips him after he picks up several.

    Rush 4: Inside for 3 or so. Alzado the tackle.

    Rush 5: Bounces outside after running into own blocker. Gain of about 11.

    Rush 6: Huge hole left side. Brought down by #57 after about 6 yard gain.

    Catch 1: Out to the flat a few yards past the line of scrimmage. A few yards up field and dragged out of bounds.

    Rush 7: Inside run up big hole in middle. Runs into blocked defender at 2nd level and is tackled. Gain of several.

    Catch 2: Short pass. Dives over goal line.

    Rush 8: Left outside, runs out of bounds after 3 yards.

    Rush 9: Left outside. Hurdles his blocker and the guy he blocked who are both on the ground, falls on face, touched down.

    Rush 10: Off left guard, brought down by #78. About a 4 yard gain.

    Catch 3: Pass to the flat. Two guys dive and miss as he’s running straight up the field, but don’t really touch him, and he never makes a cut before they have missed. Tackled after gain of 12 or so.

    Rush 11: Outside left. Big hole. Untouched until #21 tackles him. Gain of 11 or 12.

    *Catch 4: Over the middle. Defender whiffs an arm tackle low. Being generous here.

    Rush 12: #78 stops him in his tracks after gain of 2 up middle.

    Rush 13: Up the middle, leans over goal line for short touchdown.

    Rush 14: Sweep left, untouched until tackled by corner #21.

    Rush 15: Rush at 2 hole. Big hole. Somebody flies at his legs and trips him up and loses the ball as #59 also hits him on the way down. Turnover.

    Rush 16: Slips as he’s heading over left guard, gets up and dives forward for first.

    Catch 5: Screen, takes it up field for a big gain and then loses ball (play blown dead). One guy flew in and whiffed, but Harris never made a cut and the defender didn’t really make contact with him. Not a broken tackle or juke.

    Rush 17: Harris untouched for 3 yard touchdown straight into 2 hole.

    Rush 18: Left outside, wrapped up immediately after 3 yard gain by linebacker.

    Rush 19: Draw play, big hole left side. Clay Matthews wraps him up immediately for 3 yard gain.

    Rush 20: Bounces it outside left, Matthews tackles him immediately after a gain of a few.

    Rush 21: Up the middle for 4. Brought down by #78.

    Rush 22: Inside run, dives over pile for a gain of 4.

    Rush 23: Left outside run behind Bleier lead. Runs out of bounds. First down.

    Rush 24: Left inside off cut block by Bleier, big hole, #22 is first guy to touch him and brings him down immediately.

    Rush 25: Right run behind pulling lineman. #59 sheds lineman and tackles Harris after gain of about 3.

    Rush 26: Run off left tackle behind Bleier lead, 6 yard gain, 1st down. Harris runs straight into 2nd level tacklers and falls into them/folds.

    Rush 27: Defensive lineman gets some penetration and trips up Harris around line of scrimmage. Gain of around a yard.

    +Catch 6: Screen pass. Harris cuts inside pursuing defender in open field and he misses.

    Catch 7: Catch over the middle. Dives forward and touched down.

    Rush 28: Sweep right. Tripped. Gain of about a yard.

    Catch 8: Catch over the middle. Straight up field and tackled. Defender flew in and whiffed, but never made contact and Harris made no cut.

    Rush 29: Draw play left. 4 yard gain. Goes down easy as soon as contacted.

    Catch 9: Catch in flat, heads up field for big gain untouched. Brought down by #59.

    Rush 30: Left inside run. Brought down by #81.

    Rush 31: Courson pulls left, Harris trips and falls forward. #77 touches him down.

    Rush 32: Draw play over right guard, Gain of 5 or 6.



    1977 vs. Cowboys



    29 touches (29 rushes). Career high rushing yards.



    Rush 1: Off right tackle, gain of 4. #75 sheds block and makes the tackle.

    Rush 2: 3rd down run at 4 hole short of first. #41 drags him down from behind.

    Rush 3: Inside run, dives forward for a few. #43 touches him down.

    (Would’ve been Rush 4: Stopped short of first on run off left tackle. Offsides penalty gives Steelers first).

    Rush 4: Run at open 3 hole, dives to ground after gaining a few as #43 dives on top of him to touch him down.

    Rush 5: Stuffed by #75.

    Rush 6: Run 4 hole, tackled from behind by #54. Gain of about 4.

    Rush 7: Off tackle behind Bleier lead, #43 flies in and hits him. Fumble. Turnover.

    Rush 8: Run outside left, cuts inside and runs through gaping hole untouched for 61 yard touchdown.

    Rush 9: Up the middle for good gain, dragged down from behind by #43. Gain of about 11.

    Rush 10: Toss, run right, #53 stops him for gain of 2.

    Rush 11: Inside for 3 or so.

    Rush 12: Starts left, cut inside, stopped in tracks by #79.

    Rush 13: Running right, goes to ground intentionally, touched down. Seem to be deliberately running out clock to end half.

    Rush 14: Run left, ankle tackled by #25.

    Rush 15: Hit in backfield by #75 and brought down.

    Rush 16: Sweep right, cuts inside Breier lead, heads forward for about six into a gang of Cowboys.

    Rush 17: Run outside right behind Davis, Harris waits for Davis to take out one defender. Another defender to the outside trips over Davis’s leg. Harris untouched outside for big gain until #31 drags him down.

    Rush 18: Untouched off left tackle into endzone for 2 yard touchdown.

    Rush 19: Harris bounces outside right, dragged down by corner #41.

    Rush 20: Starts outside right, waits for Bleier lead, cuts inside and runs into crowd and is stopped.

    Rush 21: Inside straight into #75 and stopped.

    Rush 22: Up the middle for several. #72 the tackle.

    Rush 23: Sweep right, cuts inside Bleier lead, runs into crowd and stopped.

    Rush 24: Run off left tackle straight into #50 and wrestled down with a chokehold.

    Rush 25: Run left outside, outruns two tacklers and goes out of bounds.

    Rush 26: Runs outside right, #50 stops him in his tracks.

    Rush 27: Run straight into 2 gap for 4 or so. #53 with the tackle.

    Rush 28: Run left, dives to the ground after gaining several untouched behind Bleier lead.

    Rush 29: Toss play right, cuts inside two leads and hurdles someone lying on the ground and goes straight to the ground in the process and is touched down.



    1978 vs. Browns



    29 touches. 26 rushes, 3 catches.



    Rush 1: Straight up the middle for several yards through big hole. Cut down by #22.

    Rush 2: Outside right, #59 stops him in his tracks for a loss.

    Rush 3: Starts outside, cuts in, dives forward into crowd for a few.

    Rush 4: Off right guard, dragged down from behind after gain of a few.

    Rush 5: 3rd and short, runs off tight end right inside lead. Corner #22 cuts him down short of 1st.

    Rush 6: Up the middle, #59 makes the stop. Gain of a few.

    Catch 1: Screen, wrapped up immediately for loss by #66.

    Rush 7: Off left guard, brought down after a couple.

    Rush 8: Rush at 4 hole into #59, who pulls him backwards when tackling him and the idiotic announcer is fooled into thinking this demonstrates Harris’s “strength.” Please. Gain of a few.

    Rush 9: Run inside. #52 wraps him up immediately.

    Rush 10: Draw, immediately wrapped up and stopped for loss by #66.

    Rush 11: Up the middle, wrapped up immediately by #59.

    Catch 2: Dumpoff to flat, cuts inside and tripped up by DB. Gain of about 4.

    Catch 3: Bradshaw hits him in stride, straight up the field and cuts in, Tackled by #52.

    Rush 12: Left behind Bleier lead, cuts inside and works behind blocks, taken down by #27/#22.

    Rush 13: Draw inside, bumps into own offensive lineman before moving forward again and diving forward for about 4.

    Rush 14: Harris through huge hole inside on trap play, untouched. Brought down by first guy who hits him.

    Rush 15: Toss sweep left, waits for pulling #55 to block #28, runs behind the block and then out of bounds for good gain.

    Rush 16: Straight up the middle for several. Brought down by #72.

    Rush 17: Straight up the middle as up back through huge hole off quick trap. #27 cuts him down.

    Rush 18: Up the middle for about 4.

    Rush 19: Runs outside left, #22 wraps him up immediately.

    Rush 20: Inside, #66 wraps him up immediately.

    Rush 21: Straight ahead for a few. #52 brings him down.

    (Would’ve been Rush 22: Straight up the middle for a few. Offsides on Browns).

    Rush 22: Starts outside left, cuts inside. Wrapped up by #72.

    Rush 23: Toss left, wrapped up for loss by #86.

    Rush 24: Sweep right, cuts back inside, stopped in his tracks by #66.

    Rush 25: Run right behind pulling lineman’s cut block, cuts inside of block and dives to ground in between 3 Browns defenders for gain of 2 or 3.

    Rush 26: 4th and 1 run up middle for first.



    1978 vs. Oilers





    26 touches: 24 rushes, 2 catches (tape missing 3 rushes, 2 catches).



    Rush 1: Tip toes inside for a gain of about 2.

    Rush 2: Stopped at or a little behind the line of scrimmage.

    Rush 3: Pitch left, cuts back, stopped for about a gain of 1.

    Rush 4: Pitch right, loss of yards. #59 dominates Bleier on lead and makes the stop in the backfield.

    Rush 5: Sweep left, untouched for a gain of 8.

    Rush 6: Up the middle, gain of about 5. Brought down by #57, the first guy who touched him.

    Rush 7: Heads towards inside, tries to bounce it outside, chased down for loss by #52.

    (Would’ve been rush 8: Bounce outside, tripped up as he falls forward for a gain of a few. Offsides on Oilers).

    Rush 8: Toss right, runs behind lead of #74 untouched for big gain. #51 drags him down.

    Rush 9: Run over right guard, dragged down from behind as he gains about 2.

    Rush 10: Toss right, runs untouched for big gain and then out of bounds.

    Rush 11: Stopped at line of scrimmage by #57.

    Rush 12: Up the middle for several. Brought down by #52.

    Rush 13: Up the middle on 3rd and about 2, stopped short at about the line of scrimmage.

    +Rush 14: Sweep left, cuts inside of safety who overruns the play. While not really much of a juke so much as a free safety’s cowardice (he’s still standing and reaching at him from behind with an arm), I’ll be generous and give him credit here. Gain of several.

    Rush 15: Bounces outside right, stopped by #59 after a short gain.

    Rush 16: Bradshaw on option play tosses it to him, he just goes out of bounds for a loss.

    +Catch 1: Pass to flat. Jukes #27.

    Rush 17: Toss right, reverses field and tackled by #59 for big loss.

    Rush 18: Up middle for gain of about a yard. #57 stops him.

    Rush 19: Pitch right, stopped in backfield for loss of about 5.

    Rush 20: Starts left, cuts back across the field for huge gain. While a nice run, he didn’t break any tackles or juke anyone.

    Rush 21: Run left, cuts inside, stopped for short gain at most.

    Rush 22: Bounces outside left for about 7. Dives out of bounds.

    Catch 2: Pass out to right flat. Cuts inside. Brought down after gain of several by #20.

    Rush 23: Pitch left, heads forward for a couple.

    Rush 24: Bounces left, gain of several, cut down by DB.



    1972 vs. Vikings



    19 touches (17 carries, 2 receptions).



    Rush 1: Off right guard, gain of about 2. Brought down by #70.

    Rush 2: Run right, gain of several. Runs out of bounds.

    *Catch 1: Pass to the left flat. A defender who is trying to tackle him over a blocked defender fails to wrap up, so I unfortunately have to count this.

    Rush 3: 3rd and short. Run off left tackle. Defender gets under block and stops him at the line short of 1st.

    Rush 4: Outside right, cuts off offensive lineman’s pulling lead and runs untouched into endzone.

    **Rush 5: Run left. Breaks two tackles.

    *Rush 6: Runs over #50 who had run through blocker. Another defender brings him down for a loss.

    Rush 7: Run left. Brought down from behind by #50.

    Rush 8: Run right, gain of several. Brought down by #50 and some others.

    Rush 9: Over right gain, gain of a few. Brought down by #50.

    Rush 10: Run outside right. Gain of several.

    Rush 11: Run right, stopped in his tracks after about a yard by #23.

    Rush 12: Over right guard, gain of a few.

    Rush 13: Toss right, gain of a few. Brought down by #43.

    Catch 2: Pass out to the right flat. #60 brings him down immediately.

    Rush 14: Run up the middle for a few.

    Rush 15: Draw play. Bounces outside right. Runs down sidelines for huge run, chased down from behind by #20.

    Rush 16: Run left tackle for a few. #70 drags him down.

    Rush 17: Stopped at or behind line of scrimmage by #77.



    1979 @ Patriots





    27 touches (24 carries, 3 receptions). Tape missing 2 runs.



    Rush 1: Up the middle, stuffed at the line of scrimmage by #57.

    Rush 2: Run left, cut back, dives to ground as #48 wraps him up.

    Rush 3: Rush off left tackle behind #38 lead. Gain of a few. Brought down by #48.

    Rush 4: Toss left, intentionally falls down backwards, #52 falls on him. Brings up 4th down.

    Rush 5: Toss left, stopped behind line of scrimmage by #57.

    Rush 6: Run right, stuffed by #57.

    Rush 7: Cuts back left inside, falls forward for a couple.

    Rush 8: Inside left. Wrapped up from behind by #85. Gain of a couple.

    Rush 9: Bounces outside left. Gain of about 3. A DB comes up and dives and misses as Harris runs away from him to the corner, which per Football Outsiders rules, does not count as a broken tackle.

    Rush 10: Up the middle. Wrapped up close to line of scrimmage by #72.

    Rush 11: Harris dances, wrapped up close to line of scrimmage by #56.

    Rush 12: Up the middle untouched until #48 brings him down. Gain of about 8.

    Rush 13: Outside right for a few yards and straight out of bounds.

    Rush 14: Outside right for a few. #50 knocks him out of bounds.

    Rush 15: Outside right and cuts back, picks up a few for first.

    Rush 16: Stopped in backfield by #57.

    Catch 1: Swing to the right flat, #26 stops him on the spot.

    +Catch 2: Swing to left flat. reverses field, jukes #57 (who isn’t really in position to make the tackle yet, but I guess I have to count it), brought down after gain of a few. Clipping penalty declined. 4th down.

    Catch 3: Swing to right flat, cuts inside, gain of about 7. Brought down by #57. Offsides declined.

    Rush 17: Stopped behind line of scrimmage by #72.

    Rush 18: Pitch left, stopped behind line of scrimmage by #85. Brings up 4th down.

    Rush 19: Up the middle for a few, #64 clips him down from behind.

    Rush 20: Up the middle and stuffed for loss by #64.

    Rush 21: Off right tackle, dives forward for about 4.

    Rush 22: Outside left, gain of about 5. #40 with the tackle.

    Rush 23: Off right tackle for good gain untouched. #48 with the tackle.

    Rush 24: Right outside, runs straight of bounds. No gain.



    1976 @ Colts (Divisional Playoffs)



    21 touches (18 rushes, 3 receptions)



    Rush 1: Inside run, drives #58 for about 3 yards.

    Rush 2: Up the middle for a few.

    *Rush 3: #58 lunges and misses. #40 takes him down behind the line of scrimmage.

    Rush 4: Bounces outside left, #20 comes up and touches him and then he stumbles forward and falls down for a loss.

    Rush 5: Bounce outside right, strung out, dives forward for about a yard.

    Rush 6: Through huge hole off RG for big gain. #20 with the tackle.

    Rush 7: Starts left, cuts back up middle for gain of about 5.

    Rush 8: Up the middle for several. A few defenders in on the tackle.

    Rush 9: Off left tackle for a couple. Gets close to goal line. #25 on the tackle.

    Rush 10: Outside left, cuts inside for gain of 1 or 2. Penalty declined.

    Rush 11: Up the middle, trips over defender’s back. Gain of a yard or so.

    Rush 12: Outside left, corner trips him up, #59 falls on him. Gain of a few.

    Catch 1: Out to the left flat, straight up the field, brought down by #53 at the 1st down marker.

    *+Rush 13: Up the middle through big hole, breaks tackle of #58 and takes off for huge gain. Cuts inside #25. #25 recovers and makes tackle.

    Rush 14: Stuffed in backfield by #72.

    Rush 15: Draw play, Huge gain. #58 brings him down. #53 and #46 both reach at him at different points and he outruns them.

    +Catch 2: Swing out to right flat, cuts inside and #40 misses. The next guy gets him down.

    Rush 16: Over right guard, #40 drags him down after gain of a few.

    +Rush 17: Right outside, jukes some corner/corner whiffs. Gain of several.

    Catch 3: Tackled immediately after short catch.

    Rush 18: #78 tackles Harris for loss.



    1979 vs. Cowboys



    18 touches (17 rushes, 1 catch). Missing 1 4 yard rush.



    Rush 1: Dragged down around line of scrimmage by #54. Gain of about 1.

    Catch 1: Catches it in right flat and brought down right away by #56.

    Rush 2: Over RG, #53 stops him for a gain of about 3.

    Rush 3: Run right, stuffed by #53.

    Rush 4: Run right, big gain behind #57. #43 and #42 bring him down.

    Rush 5: Run right behind #57 again, gain of several and runs out of bounds.

    Rush 6: Dragged down by #63. Gain of a yard or so..

    Rush 7: Up the middle for short touchdown.

    Rush 8: Run right, stopped for loss by #65.

    Rush 9: Straight up the middle for a couple.

    Rush 10: Run left, cuts back. #50 takes him down. No gain.

    *Rush 11: Up the middle for breakaway 48 yard touchdown. White gets off block and dives and doesn’t wrap up as Harris sprints away, so another bogus “broken tackle” based on liberal criteria.

    Rush 12: Run left, tackled for loss by #50.

    *Rush 13: Draw play, cuts outside left. #56 chases and grabs at his jersey but can’t hold on. Another ridiculous, laughable excuse for a “broken tackle” I’m counting because of the fact it’s impossible to know just how low Football Outsiders’ standards are for broken tackles. Gain of a few.

    Rush 14: Off left tackle through big hole for several. #43 makes the stop.

    Rush 15: Over left guard. Gain of a few. #53 makes the stop.

    Rush 16: Run right behind pulling #57. Dives forward for a few.

    Rush 17: Brought down short of first down on 3rd and about 2. #63 on the tackle.



    1977 Steelers vs. Browns



    31 touches (29 carries, 2 receptions). There’s actually one extra carry in here that isn’t in the box score.



    *Rush 1: Outside right, #27 stands around and doesn’t even try to tackle him as he runs into other defenders who do…which, once again, is a laughable excuse for a “broken tackle,” but it has to be counted. Gain of about 5.

    Rush 2: Off left tackle, #52 drags him down low. Gain of a few.

    *Rush 3: #20 comes in and whiffs low. #56 tackles him for a loss.

    Rush 4: Up the middle for a couple.

    Rush 5: Run at left guard, #52 the stop. Gain of a couple.

    Rush 6: Toss right, stopped for no gain. #59 and #64 on the tackle.

    Rush 7: Up the middle. Wrapped up by #66.

    Rush 8: Run left for a few behind Bleier lead. #86 wraps him up at the legs.

    Rush 9: Up the middle. Trips forward for a few.

    Rush 10: Toss right, tripped up in backfield by #28.

    Rush 11: Outside left, #21 tackles him out of bounds after a several yard gain.

    Rush 12: Inside, bumps into own blocker, gain of a few as dragged down by #72.

    Rush 13: Outside left, gain of several. Runs out of bounds as #21 pursues.

    Rush 14: Rush outside left for 15 yard touchdown. Despite the moronic play-by-play announcer saying “breaking one tackle,” he only bumped into his own offensive lineman, who was blocking a defender who merely got a hand on him before being pancaked (not a broken tackle per Football Outsiders’ description).

    Rush 15: Stuffed for loss by #72.

    Catch 1: Pass to right flat. Tackled by LB in flat after short gain.

    Rush 16: Run outside left behind Bleier lead. Runs out of bounds.

    Rush 17: Inside right. Stopped by #66 for short gain.

    Rush 18: Inside left, #86 on the tackle after gain of a few. Fumbles. Browns ball.

    Rush 19: Run right off tackle. #28 and others on the tackle after gain of a few.

    Rush 20: #86 stops him for short gain after shedding Bleier block.

    Rush 21: Outside right. Bottled up for no gain. #86 on the tackle.

    Rush 22: Run at left guard, pushes forward for a few and the first down.

    *Rush 23: Outside right, cuts in. #72 fails to wrap up on one leg. Brought down by #56 after gain of a few.

    Rush 24: Outside right. Cut down in backfield for loss by #27.

    Rush 25: Straight ahead. Stopped for no gain by #70.

    Rush 26: Outside right. Steps out of bounds after gain of a few.

    *Rush 27: Up the middle. #20 hits and doesn’t wrap up.

    Catch 2: Out to the left flat, #52 wraps him up for loss immediately on contact.

    Rush 28: Toss left, cuts diagonally inside, two DBs go flying by but never make contact. #64 with the tackle. Gain of several.

    Rush 29: #86 (I think) hits him at line of scrimmage and knocks ball out. Browns recover.

    (25/300. 8.3333 so far)





    1979 vs. Bills







    23 touches (21 rushes, 2 receptions)



    Rush 1: Run left, stopped in his tracks by #38.

    Rush 2: Over right guard, #55 wraps up and others help.

    Rush 3: Up the middle, dives forward for a gain of about 3.

    Rush 4: Run outside right, gain of a few and runs out of bounds.

    Rush 5: Cuts inside, dives forward for a few and a first down.

    Rush 6: Run left, dives to ground into #38 for gain of a few.

    Rush 7: Off left tackle for gain of about 13. #77 with the tackle.

    Rush 8: Run over right guard in goal line situation, stopped after short gain.

    Rush 9: Toss right, dives over goal line for touchdown.

    Rush 10: #59 tackles him after gain of 2 or so.

    Rush 11: Bounces outside right, #59 takes him down for loss.

    Rush 12: Run left, huge hole, puts head down and dives forward into #26. Gain of about 11.

    (Would’ve been Rush 13: Run up middle for gain of 2 or 3. Offsides).

    Catch 1: Short out pattern. #58 the tackle and forces a fumble. Bills recover.

    Rush 13: Run left, short gain.

    Rush 14: Run off right tackle. #59 tackles him for short gain.

    Rush 15: Run left inside, huge hole. Cuts outside WR block. #38 brings him down after gain of several.

    Rush 16: Run left, tries to break a tackle/stretch forward, fumbles. Bills recover.

    Rush 17: Run over left guard, dives forward for a few.

    Rush 18: Run up the middle for a few and a 1st down. Brought down by #58.

    Rush 19: Up the middle, #59 stops him after gain of about 3.

    Rush 20: Up the middle for a few. #71 with the tackle.

    Catch 2: Out to the right flat, #71 makes the tackle after no gain. Another profootballreference box score error - it should be 2 catches for 8 yards, if I recall correctly, not 2 for 18.

    Rush 21: 11 yard touchdown run straight up the middle through huge hole, untouched.





    1979 @ Browns



    19 touches (19 rushes).



    Rush 1: Off right guard for a few. Tackled by #59.

    Rush 2: Off right tackle. Hurdled lineman piled over defender and hits hole for gain of a few. #22 (I think) on the stop.

    Rush 3: Run over right guard for about 2. Tackled by (I think) #56.

    Rush 4: Straight up the middle into pile for about 3.

    Rush 5: Run right, huge hole. Runs 71 yard untouched for touchdown.

    Rush 6: Up the middle. Tripped low. Gain of maybe 1.

    (Would’ve been rush 7: Run outside left behind excellent Thornton lead. #21 with the tackle after gain of about 5. Holding on Thornton…looked clean to me).

    Rush 7: Starts left, cuts inside. #56 gets him down with arm tackle. Gain of about 4.

    Rush 8: Up the middle through big hole for several. #28 with the tackle.

    Rush 9: Over right guard. Gain of several untouched. Brought down by #59.

    Rush 10: Run right. Puts head down and folds for #27. Gain of a few.

    Rush 11: Run outside left. Brought down by #21 after gain of about 5.

    Rush 12: Untouched run over right guard breakaway for 25 yard touchdown.

    Rush 13: Run right for gain of several. #78 with the tackle.

    Rush 14: Toss left. Outside run for long first down. #21 and #47 on the tackle.

    Rush 15: Run right. Short gain. A few Browns in on the tackle.

    Rush 16: Run right. Gain of about 1 yard. #28 on the tackle.

    Rush 17: Run inside right. #81 stops him for short gain at most.

    Rush 18: Up the middle for a couple.

    Rush 19: Run left. #27 tackles him in backfield for 2 yard loss. Facemask penalty on #27.





    1978 vs. Falcons





    20 touches (20 rushes)



    Rush 1: Up the middle into pile for short gain.

    Rush 2: Up the middle for another short gain.

    Rush 3: Off left tackle for a few. #54 and #27 on the tackle.

    Rush 4: Run outside right, cuts in. #27 and #50 on the tackle. Gain of a few.

    Rush 5: Run left, cuts inside Bleier lead. #50 wraps him up. Gain of several.

    Rush 6: Starts right, cuts inside. Stopped in pile after short gain. #50 appears to be the first guy there.

    Rush 7: Starts left, cuts inside. Gets yards behind big offensive line movement and then brought down by #72. Gain of a few.

    Rush 8: Starts right, cuts inside. Leaps over pile for a several yard gain.

    Rush 9: Bounces outside right. Untouched for gain of 8 or so. Runs out of bounds.

    Rush 10: Off tackle run for a few. Think it was #59 on the stop.

    Rush 11: Run left. #50 the ankle tackle. Gain of a few.

    Rush 12: Starts right, cuts inside. Dives forward for a few.

    Rush 13: Inside right through huge hole. Gain of about 11. Dives to ground after DB grabs at him, blowing his chance at a broken tackle. Seriously, just look at this stuff. How can you respect a RUNNING BACK who deliberately goes to the ground like that? It was bad enough when guys like Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt did it.

    Rush 14: Starts left, cuts up the middle. Gain of a few.

    Rush 15: Starts left, cuts up the middle for a several yard gain. #59 the tackle. This move has worked over and over again for them. Reminiscent of the Broncos during the Alex Gibbs/Mike Shanahan zone blocking days with the planned cutback.

    Rush 16: Up the middle through big hole for gain of a few. #59 the tackle. Penalty on defense for “spearing”…whatever that is.

    Rush 17: Starts left, cuts inside. What else is new? Gain of 4 or 5. A Falcons defensive lineman who is taking on Webster gets a hand on him, but Webster shoves him out of the way (Refer again to FootballOutsiders rules). Idiotic color commentator refers to this as “breaks a tackle right there,” but only a moron would think this was a broken tackle.

    +Rush 18: 1st and goal, dances outside and gains nothing as somebody on the edge dives at him, but I’ll be generous and call this a “broken tackle” (juke) to err on the side of caution with FootballOutsiders’ charts. #27 on the tackle.

    Rush 19: Outside right for gain of a couple. Untouched and runs out of bounds.

    Rush 20: Starts left, cuts inside. Straight up the middle untouched for about 11 yards.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 17
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  2. dirty

    dirty Well-Known Member

    537
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    Oct 16, 2011
    Lol
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 2
  3. Blitz

    Blitz Well-Known Member

    811
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    Apr 18, 2016
    That orange Adderall dust on his coffee table though.
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 9
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  4. FeartheBeard

    FeartheBeard Well-Known Member

    2,494
    77
    Oct 26, 2011
    Wow. Waaayyy too much time on your hands
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 3
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    • Like Like x 1
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  5. steelersrule6

    steelersrule6 Well-Known Member

    10,136
    850
    Nov 14, 2011
    TLDR :facepalm:
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  6. SteelinOhio

    SteelinOhio Well-Known Member

    3,347
    248
    Oct 16, 2011
    Look Le'veon, just because of all that's happened, you don't have to try to dis Franco to make yourself feel better.
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 10
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  7. Roonatic

    Roonatic Well-Known Member

    1,525
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    Sep 4, 2017
    Troll alert

    Must have took em 3 days to post that.

    Franco would still dominate today, Leveon pppffffttt.
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  8. ScoutingSteelers

    ScoutingSteelers Member

    18
    0
    Jun 26, 2019
    So by "dominate," you mean run untouched through gaping holes that every RB in football could run through, and go down to the first guy who touched him?
     
  9. 4124life

    4124life Well-Known Member

    91
    17
    Oct 15, 2018
    Too long. Didn’t read
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. SteelerGlenn

    SteelerGlenn

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    1,095
    Nov 24, 2011
    Troll alert. What goof would come on a Steelers message board and start blasting one of our all time greats?
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  11. Vox Ferrum

    Vox Ferrum Well-Known Member

    160
    22
    Apr 22, 2019
    LOL, he took all that time and space trying to troll on this forum? I cannot recall what coach, scout, or front office person said this of Franco (his favorite Steeler). 'Before he got here we did not win much, after he got here we did not lose much." Pretty much says it all.
     
    • Like Like x 1
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  12. Ben There

    Ben There Well-Known Member

    781
    353
    Oct 20, 2011
    This troll is also a moron!
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  13. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

    18,694
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    Oct 22, 2011
    Many, many different rules back then that rbs of today don't have to deal with. Not sure why from that era could be considered soft. The guys of today have a lot of benefits they didn't have at that time. Quite a different game.:cool:
     
  14. dirty

    dirty Well-Known Member

    537
    44
    Oct 16, 2011
     
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  15. ScoutingSteelers

    ScoutingSteelers Member

    18
    0
    Jun 26, 2019
    Such as what? Please list these "rules."

    Harris was regarded as soft when he played. Dave Duerson compared him to a sponge. Jim Brown bashed him relentlessly.

    He was literally the softest RB in NFL history. It's not even close. The guy literally dove to the ground in the middle of the field to avoid hits. He would go down to arm tackles by guys he out-weighed by 70 pounds.
     
  16. ScoutingSteelers

    ScoutingSteelers Member

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    Jun 26, 2019
    Yeah, and I'm sure that was because of the softest RB in NFL history, and not because of the Curtain, the trap blocking, etc.
     
  17. SteelerGlenn

    SteelerGlenn

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    Nov 24, 2011
    Do we really have to put up with this guy?
     
  18. ScoutingSteelers

    ScoutingSteelers Member

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    Jun 26, 2019
    TL;Dr: Franco Harris was a horrible running back who couldn't break tackles. Emmitt Smith gets killed for running behind dominant blocking, yet nobody says anything about Harris, who wasn't even 1/1000th the RB Smith was. It's a joke that Harris is in the HOF. Only people who only look at box scores could ever think he was good.
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  19. Kreighoff

    Kreighoff Well-Known Member

    281
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    Nov 25, 2017
    Can't wait for the next piece of wisdom is it going to be that Mel Blount sucked or Jack Lambert was too skinny to play MLB or Mean Joe was an overrated softy.
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  20. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

    18,694
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    Oct 22, 2011
    Linemen were not allowed to use there hands or extend there arms. Spearing with the helmet was allowed. Head slaps. Forearms to the head were allowed. You could be held up while a defensive team mate could come in and take a shot at you and even a head shot. You could be driven into the ground on a tackle. Not to mention that ground was astro turf, which was indoor outdoor carpet over concrete. Anything else you need to know from playing football in those days?:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
  21. ScoutingSteelers

    ScoutingSteelers Member

    18
    0
    Jun 26, 2019
    Uh, what? That's not true. You do realize these games are actually on Youtube (which is how I did this research), right?

    Speaking with the helmet? Are you high?

    Has nothing to do with Harris.

    That's funny, because on one Harris carry, a defender got called for "spearing."

    Since when is astro turf a "rule?"
     
  22. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

    18,694
    1,082
    Oct 22, 2011
    look it up Einstein. I played the game then. Spearing. No I'm not high smart azz. You may need to check that over 80 iq. No astro turf was not a rule but it was eliminated because of so many knee injuries it caused backs trying to cut or get those extra yards. It was also like falling on a road. Do some research before you flap your gums jr.:cool:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  23. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

    18,694
    1,082
    Oct 22, 2011
    what year was that spearing called?:cool:
     
  24. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

    18,694
    1,082
    Oct 22, 2011
    1978 was the first year NFL linemen could extend their arms and use an open hand to block.:cool:
     
  25. Vox Ferrum

    Vox Ferrum Well-Known Member

    160
    22
    Apr 22, 2019
    I see the troll has begun to respond to some posts. I refuse to encourage him, Can you imagine more threads of his original length? BTW Lambert was too skinny to play, but God made him that way, he would have actually killed people on the field if he was Ditka's size, damn near killed many as a skinny kid, lol.
     
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